Most of the provisions the Moken need were delivered in the dry season after the finishing of the houses but there are still a couple of essential items missing, for example, knife sharpeners, axes and bushmen knifes. Together with NAN-Foundation we are working to get a list of missing items to be able to send out via longtail boat once the weather calms down a little. With the closing of the park, however, communication is a challenge, as there is no mobile phone reception in the village. In the tourist season, the villagers regularly send messages via the visiting speedboats.
Organize and Strategize
The recovery has involved a great balancing act for the leaders of the village, such as Ngui, the chief. The influx of outside assistance has been a welcome but chaotic process. At the same time, it has required great effort to guard against a further erosion of Moken culture and human rights. Ngui has been heroic in his role as the interface between the needs of his people and the well-meaning (but often uniformed) assistance from outsiders.
Helping Ngui in this effort with brainstorming and organization are Hook and his wife Lena , who are working to create an active network of outside supporters. Hook is brother of the chief, and has spent most of his adult life working on the mainland, as a boat driver, fisherman, dive guide, and even as the subject of a feature-length film. He has a strong understanding of the Thai system and the world at large, and is emerging as a much-needed spokesman for the Moken village. He is married to Lena, who has worked as a translator for Moken-led tours for many years. Born and raised in Germany, she uses her experience in community development and social justice along with her love for the Moken to act in solidarity with them during their difficult journey towards self-determination. Going back and forth between the islands and the mainland they have drafted a list of necessary items for the rainy season, and spent time advocating outside the village for Moken self determination.